the federal army is preparing to invade Mekele

In Ethiopia, the conflict in the province of Tigray continues, still cut off from the world since the fighting began on November 4. The federal army says it is advancing against the dissident regional capital Mekele and is preparing to invade it. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave the TPLF, the party that runs the region, three days to give up, and the army has warned residents of the city and prompted a UN warning.

It was the war language used by the spokesman for the Ethiopian army that caused the unrest. “Save yourself from artillery attacks and free yourself from the junta” in TPLF, Colonel Dereje Tsegaye launched to the residents of Mekele, during a press conference on Sunday. “After that, there will be no mercy,” he said.

With Reuters, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Ethiopia, Catherine Sozi, immediately expressed concern about “the protection of the 525,000 civilians living in Mekele”.

Laetitia Bader, head of Human Rights Watch for the Horn of Africa, also warned: “Treating an entire city as a military target would not only be illegal,” she replied on Twitter, “but could also be considered as a form of collective punishment.” that is, a war crime.

So in the evening, the Ethiopian government tried to clarify its intentions. The army said the colonel only referred to the TPLF leaders. And a long text signed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was published by an authority. He assured that “all necessary precautions have been taken to ensure that civilians are not harmed.”

He gave TPLF 72 hours to give up, that is, Wednesday, November 25.

► Read also: The Tigray conflict in Ethiopia: the cord is tightened around the city of Mekele


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